holdouttrout: not your ordinary fish (Default)
[personal profile] holdouttrout
Here’s the thing about writing advice: you don’t have to take any of it. It’s all optional.

If you want to use adverbs like they’re (still) going out of style, use them. If you want to substitute epithets for every proper name or pronoun, do it. If you want to write everything in first person, go for it.

Sometimes your choices will cost you readers. But maybe you weren’t writing for the person who hates first person. Maybe you were writing for the person who loves it because it gives a sense of immediacy and intimacy.

People post writing advice for many reasons, and personal preference is often top of the list.

That’s not to say that if you really want to improve your writing, you should dismiss all the advice. Knowing that epithets throw a lot of people out of a story is useful. You can adjust for the effect that you want. Maybe you use a common phrase without thinking about what it actually means and see a rant about how people are using it incorrectly. Good! Now you get to decide if you agree and if you’re going to adjust in the future.

But don’t beat yourself up. Keep writing. Keep reading. Make the choices you want. If you want to improve, you will. If you don’t care and just want to share fun stories, do that. There’s room for everyone.

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